posted on February 23, 2014 09:03
By Mike Handley
Stoked by trail camera photographs of an enormous Ohio buck, Lear McCoy spent a lot of time in a treestand in 2012, hoping to put his sight pin on the whitetail with sweeping main beams and gnarly bases.
He got his wish in November of that year.
Right at dusk one evening, the very buck he'd been hoping to see strolled to within 20 yards. A second later, Lear saw his arrow bury up to the fletching before the animal wheeled and left.
He thought he'd made the perfect shot, but he could find neither hide nor hair of the deer. A couple of weeks later, trail cam photos revealed why: It was still very much alive.
Shortly after 2013's first cold front hit the area Lear hunts, he retrieved new images of the deer, which had grown even bigger. So Lear began watching the forecast, waiting for the next significant temperature drop to signal when he'd go in and hunt the buck.
When the mercury fell again, he climbed into his stand. And two days later, on Oct. 24, it was déjà vu all over again.
At sunset, he noticed something on the logging road that wound below his stand. As soon as he saw it was a deer, he recognized the animal's unique gait and its drop tines.
This time, however, the shot was a 30-yarder.
Lear didn't pursue it immediately, as he did the previous year. He slipped out of the woods as quietly as possible and returned the next day after lunch (he had work to do that morning).
The search lasted a scant 15 minutes.
BTR measurer Rob Meade put the tape to the rack, and he's writing the story for Rack magazine. The Adams County buck has a composite score of 194 7/8 inches.